EDU-20024 - Education Matters: Contemporary Issues and Debates in Education
Coordinator: Peter Jones Tel: +44 1782 7 34869
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module provides a detailed and critical overview of significant processes of educational change, and the thinking (political, ideological, and economic) behind them. All the issues covered in this module are of contemporary relevance and highlight the fundamental re-positioning of educational systems, structures and processes in society and economy.
This module will explore broad, ideological shifts in education over the past four decades, as well as examining how these translate into specific policy initiatives. It will examine how the meaning, purposes and goals of education have changed over time, and continue to do so. it also engages with the way in which educational values, ideologies and policies impact upon educational institutions and processes, and their effects on the experiences of those most closely involved, namely pupils, students, educators and managers.

Education matters will introduce students to a range of contemporary philosophical issues and debates in education, and will examine the changing role of education in society and the economy.
The module encompasses five broad aims:
1) To introduce students to a range of key issues and debates surrounding education;
2) To explore ideological changes in education over time and their impacts on changing the overall aims, goals and purposes of education;
3) To examine the key policy changes and developments in education and how these are reflected in various government initiatives;
4) To examine the inter-relationship between educational institutions and other social institutions, namely the state and labour market;
5) To consider the impacts key educational changes have for educational organisations and the professionals and managers working in them.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify and discuss key debates and controversies in education: 1,2
identify and discuss underlying principles and aims behind the contemporary educational policy and practice: 1,2
draw upon, a variety of theoretical resources on contemporary education practice and policy: 1,2
reflect upon the implications of contemporary educational issues for future professional role: 2
locate educational changes within wider cultural, social and economic contexts: 1,2

Study hours

22 contact hours (11 hour lectures; 11 seminars)
50 hours lecture and seminar preparation
78 hours preparation for essay and review

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Review weighted 20%
Critical Review of an educational policy.
The purpose of the review is to critically evaluate the aims and intentions of an educational policy and examine the extent to which it achieved its intended outcomes. The specific policy should be related to wider educational goals and the means by which these are pursued by government. Students should focus on an actual policy that has been implemented by government, rather than a policy proposal or commissioned report. Students are advised to focus on an educational policy that has been implemented within the last ten years, as this will help in the evaluation of its more recent impacts.

2: Assignment weighted 80%
Critical Essay (2,500 words)
Explore one set of key issues and debates in education and how they reflect the changing goals and outcomes of education.